SBS has some good news and great news for you.
The good news: The Golden Globe-winning Atlanta is coming to Australia, airing on SBS VICELAND, starting Tuesday 28 February at 9.30pm with double episodes every week.
The GREAT news: The entire first season of Atlanta will also be available to stream on SBS On Demand from the same day, 28 February. As soon as the first episode screens on TV, you'll be able to stream it via SBS On Demand
Created and co-written, and produced by Community star Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino), Atlanta follows the lives of Earn Marks (played by Glover), a Princeton dropout with a two-year-old daughter, and his rapper cousin Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles (Brian Tyree Henry). Earn convinces his cousin to let him be his manager and they attempt to break into Atlanta’s music industry and get their lives on track.
The show is absolutely unlike anything you've seen before.
Here's five reasons you'll quickly fall for Atlanta:
It’s “Twin Peaks with rappers”
That doesn’t mean there’s a dead girl wrapped in plastic or a lady with a strange attachment to a log. The mood of Atlanta swings between hyperreal and surreal, exploring the grey areas of life in a situation that will be unfamiliar to most Aussie viewers – the African-American experience of life in a major US city. “The weirdness of the situation should speak to you at the end of the day,” series star Donald Glover told NPR when the show debuted in America. “That’s what makes me stick around, is something that’s going to capture the weird – the funniness.”
It’s also really funny
Don’t expect a Community type of comedy here – Atlanta is funny in the way all serious shows are, with a mordant and left-field sense of humour that kids on the square about real-life issues as much as it delivers toilet jokes. Darius, Paper Boi’s off-sider and drug dealer, is the immediate source of laugh lines, but there’s plenty of comedy to leaven the drama.
The music is cool as
Instead of having a traditional theme tune, each episode of Atlanta showcases the work of some cool performer in both its opening and closing songs. So even if you’re feeling shamefully clueless about what’s going on down there on the streets of Georgia, you can point Shazam at the TV and get informed. (It’s not all new music – Funkadelic and Bill Withers get a guernsey).
Childish Gambino himself, the man who first wormed his way into our hearts as Troy on Community, leads the cast here. As usual, he’s charming and talented as Earn, a Princeton drop-out who is trying to build a name for himself while living back with his parents (and occasionally the mother of his baby). He also created the show, plus he writes and directs parts of it, so it’s quality all the way down.
It’s real, authentic and drawn from life
Donald Glover grew up in Atlanta, so he knows these streets like the B-side of Because the Internet (yeah, I know – digital downloads don’t have B-sides any more than CDs do). That makes this the kind of personal, lovingly crafted project that comes from the heart, built as it was over the course of three years. “Television shows are like novels. You just got to invest in them,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “The tone of this, it’s going to take people time to figure out what's going on, which I think is a good thing.”
Atlanta debuts on SBS VICELAND on Tuesday 28 February at 9:30pm. Or stream the entire first series from 28 February on SBS On Demand.